Spiders are a pest that no one likes to have around the home. There are a lot of common household spiders that are harmless, but there are two spiders in Oklahoma that can be Dangerous to you and your home.
In Oklahoma, the two most dangerous spiders are the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow. Both are venomous and if bitten, you should seek medical attention immediately.
BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER
The Brown Recluse is also called the Fiddleback spider because of the violin shaped marking behind the three pairs of eyes. It lives up to it’s name as being brown or tan in color and prefers to dwell in out of the way places. It has long, thin legs and an adult is only a half an inch in length.
In the summer-time, eggs hatch in about a month’s time with more than 40 spiderlings. If the weather has been mild, there will be plenty of spiders that can reproduce as well as plenty of bugs for them to eat. They can go without food or water for long periods of time, and can live up to 5 years, reproducing every year.
The Brown Recluse hunts at night and sleeps during the day. They can be found hiding in closets, shoes, under couches & chairs, bathrooms, old clothes, boxes, basements, garages, & attics. They are reluctant to bite, but when provoked – even unwittingly, like by putting on an article of clothing that they are in – they will defend themselves. Depending on where and how the bite happened, some people may not even know they’re bitten until hours later. Most bites will cause intense pain and hours later a puss-filled blister usually emerges from the skin. The venom will kill the skin around the bite up to a half-dollar in size, and it will become red and swollen. Fever may occur and the infected skin may deteriorate exposing muscle. There is no specific anti-venom, but physicians can combat the venom with steroids.
BLACK WIDOW SPIDER
The black widow spider is considered the most venomous spider in North America. The venom of the female black widow spider is 15 times as toxic as the venom of the prairie rattlesnake. Only the adult female black widow is dangerous to humans.
Female black widow spiders are about .5 inch long, to about 1.5 inches long when the legs are spread. Males are about half the female’s size, with smaller bodies and longer legs. Male black widows frequently have yellow and red bands and spots over their backs, as do both sexes of black widows in their immature stages. Juveniles of both sexes resemble the male and are harmless to humans.
Black widow spider webs are commonly found near ground level inside storage sheds or in small holes and crevices around building foundations and outdoor furniture. Inside, webs may be found in crawl spaces and basements.
Black Widow spiders are non-aggressive, but will bite if they feel threatened. Bites usually occur by accident. Bites are rarely fatal, but can cause serious pain and complications. Within seconds of being bitten by a Black Widow, you’ll feel pain and throbbing at the bite site. The area around your wound will begin to swell, and you may experience muscle contractions. If your diaphragm is affected, breathing becomes labored. Your heart can begin to race. You may become nauseous and sweat or have chills.